PAUL’S PHOTOS || Seen, Known and Appreciated

By TyeBriggs.

‘The pictures I take are snapshots of things around me—mostly men. I’ve been obsessed with men, their bodies and sex, all my life.‘ – Paul Morris


When I contacted San Francisco photographer Paul Morris he responded with support for a post but commented that he did not feel he was of the caliber of the other photographers that I have featured. I am not sure there is anyone who can really accurately access their own work. In my experience, most people I talk to about their own work either undervalue it, and in some cases overvalue, the impact and skill involved. What I can say is that for me, my love of an image or an artist is based more on the emotional reaction it elicits from me. With Paul’s images, there the reaction was strong, I think due to the intensely beautiful connection I felt between artist and subject.

Paul obviously loves the male body and captures it with unique poses, angles and most importantly, his own perspective. Paul captures the man in final poses, but most interesting to me is his ability to also capture the emotion involved in the process. I always ask artists and models what the experience was like, and with Paul’s work, the answers came not only with his words, but within the images themselves.


KARL  ‘Karl was nervous and very formal, eager to please but wary. I love shooting men who’ve never done this before. He’s a strikingly handsome waiter at a fine restaurant in San Francisco. Very soft-spoken and polite, he seemed to me to be above all a gentle man’

‘Men need to be considered and questioned, to be asked about their life, their work, their dreams. Men are generous because they long to be seen, known, appreciated and remembered. And their stories are like a second skin, as much a part of their bodies as their muscles and bones.’ – Paul Morris

DYLAN  ‘I had Dylan turn the chair around and sit down. Even though he was obviously angry, I immediately liked him. Maybe it was because he was making his feelings clear.’

‘When I was 11 I had a friend who could draw well. His fame in the neighborhood came from his ability to draw dinosaurs, but I happened to know that he liked to draw all kinds of things. He invited me to watch him draw once. It was on a Sunday afternoon at his father’s machine shop. I knocked on the locked door of the shop and he let me in. He took me to the back of the shop where a young man–15 or 16 years old–was standing naked and still. He was “posing,” a concept that was shocking and wonderful to me. They take their clothes off and they stand still while you study them. I asked my friend how he did this, how he got this to happen. He said “You ask them.” – Paul Morris

ALEXANDER  ‘Alexander’s ass is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. You may have noticed that a lot of the men I shoot have their hands in this position: this is something straight men nearly always do automatically. I think it must have something to do with balancing their vulnerability as I kneel and worship their ass.’

ISAAC  ‘Isaac is 21 years old, a full-scholarship athlete in college. He loves watching daytime tv. We did the shoot in a Soma motel. He asked if he could watch his favorite show when it came on. It was one of those courtroom “reality” shows, like Judge Judy. He was absolutely fascinated by it.’


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